Mike Kahn: Orbital ATK supports readiness through expansion of missile production facilities

Mike Kahn

Orbital ATK has hired 1,000 additional employees and expanded several weapons facilities to increase production capacity as it expects a rise in the demand for munitions and missiles from the Defense Department in the next few years, Defense News reported Wednesday.

“We have invested a decent number of millions, tens of millions, in a number of our facilities to support readiness,“ Mike Kahn, defense group president at Orbital ATK, said in a Tuesday interview with the publication at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference in Maryland.

Kahn noted that the company has made a series of investments in several ammo and missile manufacturing plants as part of capacity growth efforts. Those facilities include the Rocket Center, West Virginia-based Allegany Ballistics Laboratory that makes warheads, rocket motors and fuses as well as the ammunition plant in Lake City, Missouri.

Orbital ATK unveiled a California facility to produce the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile's extended range version and Kahn said the company plans to move AARGM-ER to the engineering and manufacturing development phase by the end of 2018.

The report said the AARGM-ER missile is scheduled for initial deployment by 2022 or 2023 and expected to be integrated by the U.S. Air Force into the F-35 fighter jet block upgrade.

Northrop Grumman agreed to acquire Orbital ATK in September 2017 for approximately $9.2 billion in a transaction that is expected to close in the first half of this year.

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